James Forsyth: EU obsession is sapping all of David Cameron’s energy

bobi
Nga bobi April 2, 2016 12:00

James Forsyth: EU obsession is sapping all of David Cameron’s energy

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DAVID CAMERON knows he has mucked up.

When he addressed Tory backbenchers on Wednesday night, he reminded them that when he had spoken to them straight after the Election he had warned them that “the test of our loyalty was not to support me when I am right, but when things don’t go right. And we don’t always get everything right.”

This admission that he had mishandled Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation and the whole row over benefit cuts was wise. Tory MPs were reassured by his contrition.

But the bigger issue is, why did Cameron make these mistakes in the first place?

The answer is simple, according to one of those intimately involved in these events: “Cameron is completely obsessed by Europe — he has taken his eye off the ball.”

Allies of Iain Duncan Smith tell me they think Cameron didn’t even read IDS’s note warning of the dangers of pressing ahead with these disability benefit cuts. They also complain that No10 didn’t, unlike in previous years, step in to referee the Budget fight between the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions.

It isn’t just Cameron’s critics who think that the referendum is sapping his energies.

“He feels he has to win this, and then he can devote himself to everything else,” one Cabinet ally of the Prime Minister tells me.

bobi
Nga bobi April 2, 2016 12:00
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